Toyota extends warranty on hybrid cable to 8 years/160 000 km on seven models

APA - May 2, 2023

On Monday May 1, Toyota made an astonishing turnabout during the Superior Court hearing in Montreal to certify the class action over a defective electrical connection on its all-wheel-drive hybrids. Toyota`s lawyer said the automaker was prepared to extend the warranty on the cable to 8 years/160 000 km on five Toyota and two Lexus models. Previously, the automaker had limited this warranty enhancement to only the RAV4 hybrid. Toyota also agreed to reimburse vehicle owners who paid for this repair previously and cover a rental vehicle in the event a Toyota hybrid is off the road waiting for a replacement cable. The warranty enhancement appears to have been a recent decision, as it is much broader than the written materials Toyota produced to defend the action.

According to the APA, the cable which supplies high voltage power from the battery to the rear motor should be designed to last the lifetime of the vehicle. Until last autumn, Toyota customers were paying about $6500 to replace the cable on vehicles after the basic 3 year/60 000 km warranty ended. An affidavit filed by Toyota`s National Manager for Product Quality and Service Support states that the connector is vulnerable to splitting after accumulating road debris, due to the effects of repeated freeze-thaw cycles in cold weather. (Presumably the design is more vulnerable in Central and Eastern Canada, and the Midwest and Northeastern United States because of the harsher winter environment.)

A longer list of models is covered

Toyota has undertaken to extend the warranty on the power cable to the rear motor-generator of the following hybrids:

Model Years

2020-2023 Toyota Highlander Hybrid
2019-2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
2021-2022 Toyota RAV4 Prime
2021-2022 Toyota Sienna
2021-2022 Toyota Venza Hybrid
2022 Lexus NX 350h Hybrid
2022 Lexus NX 450h Plug-In Hybrid


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Toyota told the judge that the Prius hybrid with all-wheel drive should be excluded because it has a different hybrid system. No technical information was provided to support the assertion. Justice Sylvain Lussier asked Toyota`s lawyer if it was possible the Prius had a different problem that could eventually require replacing its cable too!

Publication ban lifted

In February 2023, Toyota obtained a publication ban from Judge Lussier covering technical information that the automaker claimed contains sensitive confidential information that would cost it a competitive advantage. At the certification hearing, Toyota`s lawyer argued that the ban should become permanent. That did not sit well with Marie-Eve Fournier, the journalist for La Presse who attended the hearing, and she lawyered up to have the ban lifted. The La Presse lawyer showed up after the lunch break, and just as he was about to begin his arguments Toyota`s counsel suddenly withdrew his opposition. The document could now be shared publicly...

Toyota`s "confidential" document turned out to be nothing more than a technical service bulletin to dealers written in French in December 2022; it was already out of date since it included only one of the seven models now eligible for enhanced warranty coverage. The same information from Toyota USA (in English) has been available online since January 2023, and is not covered by any publication ban!

Next steps

Toyota argued that since they had already conceded nearly everything the plaintiffs asked for there was no reason for the case to proceed any further. Fredy Adams, the lawyer acting for the plaintiffs, countered that it wasn`t reasonable or prudent to rely on Toyota`s promises alone -- the court should retain its authority over the action and authorize it.

Justice Lussier expressed his wish that the parties work out a written agreement and submit it to him if they are able to do so. If they cannot, he will make a decision as to whether the class action moves ahead or not.

From the APA`s perspective, it was a very successful day for consumers. There are some issues to resolve; for example, some consumers accepted partial offers from Toyota that dropped the price of their repairs to a couple of thousand dollars in exchange for a release. They would quite reasonably now want to be included. And it was unclear in court if the Warranty Enhancement Program applies across North America (Toyota`s US technical bulletin states that it does). Finally, one of the APA`s experts on this file contends that the new-design replacement connector is still vulnerable to corrosion. In harsh driving environments, a preventive inspection and a service to improve its sealing may be in order before the extended warranty is over.



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March 20, 2023 Toyota Extends Warranty on RAV4 hybrid power cables to 8 years/160,000 km

October 21, 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Prime Update

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May 3, 2022 APA asks Toyota Canada to extend the warranty on the RAV4 Hybrid and Prime